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Have a Cheesy Mother’s Day Weekend In Bandon

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Head to the coast this weekend and soak up the sun while enjoying the beauty of Bandon, good cheese and a fun party.

Face Rock Creamery is celebrating their third anniversary, and releasing their three-year aged cheddar at a huge 2-day party on May 7th and 8th at the Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, Oregon.

The event is free and family-friendly and goes from 9am – 9am on both May 7 and May 8. There will be something for everyone: music, $2 hot dogs and $3 hamburgers, $2 beers, wine tastings, massages, and fried cheese curds.

Pesto? Oregon Style (Arugula and Hazelnut, Natch)

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pestoCome the summer basil, and you’re sure to find pesto as a staple in my fridge. And bags of it in the freezer which I store for later use (because prolonging the bounty of the summer is half the fun of bringing in the summer bounty).

And while traditional Italian pesto is nothing short of delicious, I love this vegan variation using Oregon hazelnuts and an unlikely for the?base. Because not all pesto needs to be based on herbs. Arugula and Hazelnut Pesto offers a certain spiciness that I adore. Add the earthy flavors of the toasted nuts and you’ve got yourself a topping that’s perfect?atop salmon, grilled chicken, smoked turkey, in sandwiches, over any kind of pasta, pizza, salad dressing, or just as a spread for some good ol’ crusty bread. It’s so wonderfully versatile, like Frank’s Red Hot, you’ll put that sh*t on everything.

Double the recipe if you like, and put the?leftovers into sandwich bags to?freeze for whenever the pesto mood strikes.

Knudsen Vineyards Chardonnay

Knudsen Vineyards – Discover the Beauty of Oregon Chardonnay

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As Spring looms?heavy, like a full moon?on the horizon, we begin to crave lighter fare. And with wines like Knudsen Vineyards 2014?Chardonnay from the Dundee AVA in Oregon, it’s easy to think about how we’ll accommodate the fresh and bright foods of the coming season by accompanying them with great wine.

Knudsen Vineyards is one of the oldest vineyards in the Dundee Hills. Planted in 1974, this prestigious vineyard?site has been supplying fruit to some of Oregon’s most esteemed producers for years. In 1990, they were the first to plant the widely accepted Dijon clone Chardonnay in the state, ushering in a new era of Oregon Chardonnay. After 40 years of wine production, Knudsen Vineyards finally took?the bull by the horns, and in 2013 released their first?bottling of Chardonnay.

This wine is a prime example of why Chardonnay does so well in the Willamette Valley. Grapes are picked at the optimum time to preserve the steely acidity, and though it’s aged in 20% new French oak, the fruit flavors are the star of the show.?Crisp, clean and tingly tary, discover the layers of complexity with every sip?zippy lemon zest, quince paste, orange blossom and almond cookies that are structured by the backbone of stony minerality.

This versatile food wine will be pleasure serving with a variety of menu options. Superb?with salty soft cheese, with main courses like halibut and minted pea pur?e, chicken with rosemary, saut?ed sea scallops with herbed cream sauce, or with side dishes like chanterelles in garlic, butter and sea salt.

And with the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration coming up, you can not only learn why Chardonnay expresses itself with such beauty, but you can taste for yourself. Experience the educational seminar and Grand Tasting with more than 40 wineries on Saturday, February 27th at the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. For tickets or?for more information, visit oregonchardonnaycelebration.org.

 

Domaine Divio: A Touch of Burgundy in the Willamette Valley

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Nestled on a pastoral hillside in the prestigious Ribbon Ridge AVA of Oregon?s Willamette Valley, lies Domaine Divio, a quaint little farm-style tasting room sharing exceptional wines and the stories behind them.

barndoorsShe wanted the doors, he wanted the fireplace, so they designed everything around those elements.

It might look like a large wooden barn, as it blends seamlessly into into serene surroundings, but inside, you?ll find composed grandeur in the heavy wooden barn doors that open to bring the outside in, the high ceilings with extensive windows inviting in the sunlight, and the massive stone fireplace to welcome guests with its cozy warmth.

barStep up to the apothecary-style bar and let the owner winemaker Bruno Corneaux pour you tastings of his superbly made wines. Bruno?s philosophy for making Domaine Divio wines is done in the style he learned growing up in France. He is passionate about growing his grapes biodynamically, making small production wines that are true to his 4th generation French winemaking roots, and crafting his pinot noir and chardonnay with as little intervention as possible.

Bruno speaks lovingly about his little 23-acre spot on Ribbon Ridge. He appreciates the recognizable marine sediment in the soil and the spicy flavors it gives the wines grown there. Though his estate is currently planted to 12 acres of pinot noir and chardonnay, until the grapes are ready for wine production, he?s sourcing fruit from neighboring regions, including the Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains and Eola Amity AVAs. And tasting these all side-by-side is a great opportunity to learn about the different areas and what impact the varying soil types and conditions have on those wines. You may consider it an important lesson in terrior. According to Bruno, ?he wants to make sure that the fruit is giving him what the soil is all about.?

The wines are flawless and captivating, but it?s Bruno?s passion and generous hospitality, telling stories in his charming French accent of his heritage, growing up in Beaune France, and how he met his lovely wife Isabelle in Dijon where he studied that will ultimately connect you. You?ll understand how the name Divio, which is the Roman name for the town of Dijon, and the congruence of all their experience has become an icon for their brand. Even the logo is modeled after the handcrafted painted roof tiles from Dijon. Ask them the stories for yourself. They?ll wax poetic about France, about wine and you?ll feel like a part of it all.

chard2013 Willamette Valley Chardonnay ? With a mere 25 cases of this heavenly wine in existence, I suggest you make your visit soon. Showing classic citrus with flinty minerality, and caramel notes without being buttery, it?s bright and brilliant acidity is focused and laser sharp. Its versatility makes it perfect with a variety of dishes such as butter leaf salads, crab, corn, and risotto.

2012 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills ? Cherry, raspberry, moist earth, dried herbs and milk chocolate notes emanate from the glass. It?s elegant and light in color, with both clarity and finesse. Sourced from Thistle Vineyard (ask Bruno to say this just for fun ;).

2012 Pinot Noir Eola Amity Hills ? You?ll be lured in by dark berries, baking chocolate, violet, and white pepper. Far from simple, the structure and complexity of this wine will continue to evolve for years.

2013 Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountain ? One of the earlier ripening areas in the Valley, this wine is full of red currant, ripe strawberry jam and juicy but tart cherry flavors complemented by steely minerality and earthy components.

 

winery view tastingroom

 

Spring is in the Air? Stoller 2015 Ros? is in Your Glass

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As you feel the number of daylight hours increasing by the minute, pink bottles start lining the shelves of your favorite wine shop. They trumpet the incoming spring, much the way the bulbs popping up in your yard do, growing in almost the same proportions. I love this time of year, life is practically bursting at the seams.?When that first bottle of the?2015 ros?s, made an appearance on my table, I wanted to throw my hands up in celebration. Are we really through our darkest hours? Is it time for pink wine already? Well, I’m here to tell you, yes and YES!

The Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Ros? is my harbinger of spring, thank you very much. The stunning pink color gently wakes your winter weary soul while Ruby Red grapefruit, watermelon and honeysuckle tickle your senses, teasing?them with lively aromatics and playful acidity. I want to pair this wine with bouillabaisse or crudit?s, as its restraint is reminiscent of the finest classic wine from Provence, but I think it is an extremely?versatile wine and would taste simply divine with a fennel, blood orange and arugula salad topped with a?simple honey and lemon vinaigrette. Or you could do what I did and eat with pepperoni and pineapple pizza? damn that was good (don’t judge me).

Get Your Calendars Ready: Announcing the 2016 “Dinner in the Field” Events Schedule!

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If you?re anything like me, you?re already thinking about summer. A time of the year when?long summer days seem to go on forever, and evenings are filled with dinners that encapsulate all the flavors of the season, exciting your senses with every flavor. We?share time with friends and family lingering into the colorful sunset with glasses of wine in hand and conversation and the memories of dinner drifting into the air, as the warmth of that connection matches the warmth of the sun on your backs.

It may just be February, and the days still cold and dreary gray, but it?s never too early to be thinking about the bounty of the upcoming summer. In fact, all the more reason. And since Field and Vine Events just released their 2016 Dinner in the Field schedule, it?s?just the right time?to be planning for it. Check out this list of?amazing events from Spring through Winter, that include some of the Willamette Valley?s best farms, wineries, breweries and cideries, and get your planning underway. There?s certainly so much to look forward to.

April 12th ?-SE Wine Collective with Pitch Dark Chocolate
May 14th ??Kestrel Barn with Owen Roe
May 21st ??Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm & Vineyard w/Portland Cider Company
June 4th ?-AlexEli Vineyards with Portland Creamery
June 11th ??St Josef?s Estate Vineyard & Winery
June 18th ??King?s Raven Winery
June 26th ??Pete?s Mountain Vineyards
July 9th ??Stoller Family Estate with Chef Jaco Smith of Lechon Restaurant
July 16th ?-WillaKenzie Estate w/Goldin Artisan Creamery
July 23rd ??Lange Estate Winery with Portland Creamery
July 30th ? Lee Farms with Methven Family Vineyards
August 6th ? Christopher Bridge Winery
August 13th ? Fiala Farms with Erath Winery
August 20th ? Beckham Estate Vineyards
August 28th ? Rare Plant Research Center and Villa Catalana Cellars
September 3rd ? Fir Point Farms with Ecliptic Brewery and Ribera Wines
September 10th ? Terra Vina Wines
September 18th ? Alpacas at Marquam Hill Ranch with AlexEli Vineyards
September 24th ? Ardiri Winery & Vineyards
October 22nd ? Stoller Family Estate
November 5th ? Rosse Posse Elk Farm and Forest Edge Vineyard
December 3rd ? Dobbes Family Estate
December 1oth ? WillaKenzie Estate

For more information, and to purchase your tickets, visit their website here.

Sparkling Wines Take Oregon’s Willamette Valley by Storm

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BubblefestPoster_v1Come on, who doesn’t love bubbly? It’s like a party in your mouth!

A simple bottle of sparkling wine evokes fabulous images of romance, merriment, success, luxury and most definitely ceremony. And though it should be enjoyed daily?year-round, it’s always the perfect libation for kicking off celebrations, holidays, enjoying with a festive meal or just lifting the darkest spirits.

And yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be in love or even a part of couple to enjoy a bubbly celebration. So, brighten your Valentine’s weekend (coupled or not) and discover who’s making the best sparkling wine in the Willamette Valley at Anne Amie’s 2nd annual Bubbles Fest.

February 13th, 2016
11am to 4pm
6580 NE Mineral Springs Rd., Carlton

Tickets: $45 – Click here to purchase

Raise your glass and toast to Anne Amie?s incredible view and convivial ambiance, while sipping from 12 extraordinary small production local producers you might not even know?craft sparkling wines. Small bites and live music are an added bonus.

Producers:
Analemma
Anne Amie
Argyle
Division Wine Co.
Kramer
Native Flora
R. Stuart
Raptor Ridge
Roots
Sokol Blosser
Soter
Statera

Furioso: Furiously Good Pinot Noir

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New wineries seem to be popping up in Oregon like wildflowers; beautiful blooms that add fragrance and color to the already magnificent landscape. As if we thought it couldn?t get any better.

I am hoping to visit them all and share their stories here.

The first, in the roundup on recents is La Linea Furioso, located in Dundee Oregon. As the name is a bit of a mouthful, and I?d like to focus the mouthful on the wine, so we?ll just call them Furioso and hope they won’t mind too terribly.

Furioso, owned by Giorgio Furioso, purchased the old Crumbled Rock site to create a new winery and reclaim his Italian winemaking family?s heritage. Mission accomplished

There is a new tasting room to explore as well as?the first commercial vintage of 2014 pinot noir. I hear from winemaker Dominique Mahe, that there is chardonnay in the works and that they have just planted friulano (which is quite rare in the Willamette Valley). Though it?s a good three years before we see the fruiliano, my interest is most definitely piqued.

2014 L?Altra Linea Furioso Pinot Noir
This wine is ripe and truly authentic to the warmer vintage. It?s also rich, young and fruity with a mouthful of tart cranberry relish reminiscent of turkey dinner, sweet blackberry jam and hints of spice that’s all wrapped up in warm supple leather. The balance of sweetness, acidity and smooth tannins make this a wine that plays well with food. Let it linger long like a welcome friend.?$45

WillaKenzie Aliette ? A Wine for all Seasons

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willakenzieThough red and white wines can be?perfect any time of year, there?s something to be said for drinking with the seasons. The heavy, hearty stews of fall and winter scream for big red wines; holiday season means a glass of bubbly at the ready; and summer salads and lighter fare typically call for bright whites.

And then there?s pinot noir. Its flexibility and food-friendly acidity makes it a perfect wine for all seasons, and WillaKenzie Estate 2012 Aliette (named after a beautiful woman and not to be confused with the french word “Alouette“) fills that bill and more.

Made of 100% pommard fruit, this wine is lithe, lush, silky, smooth and sexy. It?s a glass of pure romance and is exquisite when paired with the warmth of a crackling fire and someone to snuggle with. Add a mix of dinner and some enticing conversation and you’ll have yourself a night to remember.

Pay attention to the wine and you may notice flavors of red plum, ripe raspberries, soft vanilla and a dazzling spicy white pepper finish. The flavors are harmonious, the wine?s clarity is as translucent as Oregon pinot noir is known for, and for a warm vintage, you?d never know it, for the wine is perfectly balanced. Winemaker Thibaud Mandet is some kinda winemaker genius; his wines are dependable, distinctive, consistent and always, always delicious.

Pair this wine with seared duck breast and savory compote, braised short ribs with parsnip pur?e, duck confit with ratatouille, pork sugo over polenta and any salmon preparation. Enjoy with dinner or all on its own, this wine not disappoint.

Oregon Wine Country – Thanksgiving Weekend 4-1-1

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KBP_4529-24-1763x1177If you live in Oregon, you’re probably familiar with all the winery Pre-Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend Open Houses. It’s something of a yearly buzz and a harbinger of the holiday season. With so many choices, planning a wine country outing might seem more?like a game of Risk. ?But rest assured, I’m here to help you with your planning strategy. Put my experience to good use with this?insider’s guide to planning a winning?Thanksgiving wine country excursion.

Raise your glass and toast the opportunity to taste wines you might not normally get to taste.

The strategy?is actually quite simple. While the big wineries are deliciously dependable, most of them are open year-round, so you can visit them anytime. Save this outing for the wineries only open a couple times a year and those that are having their “coming out” parties.

WINERIES RARELY OPEN – BUT OPEN THANKSGIVING WEEKEND:

1. iOTA Cellars – Open just two times a year, so seize the day. Located in Amity, so a visit to Brooks new tasting room and Keeler Estate would be conveniently accessible. Lucky you!
2. Bells Up Winery?- Small boutique winery in Newberg, hmmmm, practically on the way to Argyle! How ’bout that plan???Taste their symphony of wines, but their inaugural vintage is selling out fast, so grab a bottle or two while you can.
3. Shea Wine Cellars?- Go straight to the source (in Yamhill) and discover?why so many?wineries make a Shea Vineyard wine.
4. Archer Vineyard?- The tiered decks and forever countryside views will melt your holiday stress away.
5. Leah Joregenson Cellars is pouring her wines Pre-Thanksgiving weekend on Saturday, Nov. 21st at Staver Locomotives – which means she’s right in town and you don’t even have to drive out to the valley. That means you have?no excuses. And you get to see cool trains! On Friday of?the Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll find her at the best little wine shop in Newberg, Valley Wine Merchants.

brooksargyle2NEW WINERIES/TASTING ROOMS:
1. Argyle Winery – In my opinion, ALL Oregon wine country outings should either begin or end at Argyle?with a bubbly toast. Combine their sleek and sexy?new tasting room with great wines and easy accessible along the Highway 99 corridor and you have yourself a no-brainer.
2. Domaine Roy & Fils?- Taste the inaugural vintage from Dundee’s newest winery team, Roy and Etzel.
3. Domaine Divio?- Another debut – Burgundian style wines crafted in hillsides of Newberg. Domaine Divio promised?traditional wines along with graceful valley views.
3. Dusky Goose?- This grand opening event features limited production Pinot Noir?crafted by the illustrious Lynn Penner Ash.
4. Keeler Estate?- Allow yourself to?be greeted with warmth and hospitality and feel like you never left home. With wines as stunning as the grounds, it’s a treat for all the senses.
5.?Brooks Winery – With sweeping vistas and stunning wines, you could easily spend all day here. Craft your own flights from?exceptional Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, Gewurtzraminer and 17 Rieslings. Let me say that again, so you hear me loud and clear. 17 RIESLINGS!

TASTING HOUSES: Places to taste a wide variety of limited production vino from artisan producers
1. Carlton Winemakers Studio – Andrew Rich, Dukes Family, Lavinea, Asilda Wines, Quintet, Merriman, Mad Violets, Lazy River, Bachelder Wines, Wahle, Trout Lily and Hamacher
2. Beacon Hill – Harper Voigt, WildAire Cellars
3. Southeast Wine Collective – Be thankful for?urban Thanksgivings. Wines from up-and-coming resident winemakers including Division Winemaking Company (ok, these guys are more up than coming), Fullerton Wines, Gersing Cellars, James Rahn Cellars, Laelaps Winery and Ore Winery.

Places to drink great wine and get your shopping on:
1. WillaKenzie Estate‘s Holiday Market – Taste award winning?wines while you select?thoughtful holiday gifts for all your favorite peeps.?You’ll be able to sample?tasty food items from the following local vendors: The Beautiful Pig, Briar Rose Creamery, Smitten Artisan Truffles, The Spice and Tea Exchange, the Tamale House,?Fanucchi Oils and more. Mmmmm.

Perhaps your Thanksgiving weekend tradition includes a visit to wine country. Or perhaps you’re more of a sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-sports type, or a hit-up-all-the-big-sales type, in which case I invite you to please make a new tradition. You’ll thank me.?Where ever you end up this Thanksgiving weekend, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and enjoy every precious moment! #ORthanks

*Check individual website for details, times and specific offers.

Recipes

Pesto? Oregon Style (Arugula and Hazelnut, Natch)

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pestoCome the summer basil, and you’re sure to find pesto as a staple in my fridge. And bags of it in the freezer which I store for later use (because prolonging the bounty of the summer is half the fun of bringing in the summer bounty).

And while traditional Italian pesto is nothing short of delicious, I love this vegan variation using Oregon hazelnuts and an unlikely for the?base. Because not all pesto needs to be based on herbs. Arugula and Hazelnut Pesto offers a certain spiciness that I adore. Add the earthy flavors of the toasted nuts and you’ve got yourself a topping that’s perfect?atop salmon, grilled chicken, smoked turkey, in sandwiches, over any kind of pasta, pizza, salad dressing, or just as a spread for some good ol’ crusty bread. It’s so wonderfully versatile, like Frank’s Red Hot, you’ll put that sh*t on everything.

Double the recipe if you like, and put the?leftovers into sandwich bags to?freeze for whenever the pesto mood strikes.